Mostyn is Dead Right

The Witchfinder considers the arguments in the case of re D, in which Mostyn J and the Court of Appeal have a significant disagreement.

Two Irate Looking Judges

The High Court and the Court of Appeal have had a bit of a falling out over Re: D.

Re D concerned an 18-month-old child of Czech / Roma heritage, whose parents live in the Czech Republic. The question was whether  the case of this Czech family should be dealt with in the UK or whether a request should be made to the Courts in the Czech Republic to take over the matter.

The case was managed by Mr Justice Mostyn, who gave a judgement in the High Court that the Czech Courts should indeed be invited to decide the matter. His judgement was later overturned by the Court of Appeal and then remitted back to Mostyn J to dispose of the remainder of the case. Mostyn J then gave a further judgement that the child could be placed with foster carers in the Czech Republic whilst taking a few swipes at the judgement of the Court above. The case is important because of its subject and interesting because of the strident judicial disagreements.

Your inquisitor finds writing about this case to be difficult, because he has the greatest respect for Lord Justice Ryder who delivered the judgement of the Court of Appeal as well as Munby LJ, who agreed with Ryder. Both are good and decent men – Ryder LJ is in fact the very first judge the Witchfinder ever appeared before back when he was a High Court judge. It is just that in this instance Mostyn is right.

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The Inadequate Act

The Witchfinder notes recent criticisms of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the judiciary.

Burning Money.

Imagine lots and lots of money, burning. This is functionally indistinguishable from imagining a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards case in the Court of Protection.

I like Mr Justice Mostyn – he is one of my favourite judges. This article is about a recent public judgement in which – like many others – he has felt the need to comment about the lack of protections for those subject to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). The Witchfinder includes no information not in the public judgement.

The case concerns the safeguards that should be made available to a mentally incapable man. The nature of the man’s incapacity is not really important. What is important is the way this judgement further throws into sharp relief the inadequacy of the safeguards under the MCA.

In order to make the judgement less dehumanising, Mostyn refers to the man as ‘George’. George is not his real name. Unfortunately it appears that George is a sexual deviant who needs to be confined, strip searched and to have his phone-calls and correspondence monitored for the safety of others.

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